Litter in the seas – no more
Respect for the environment
About 70% of our planet is covered by oceans and marine debris is found almost everywhere. Respect for the environment is imperative.
Respect for the environment – sos
Marine litter, especially plastics, is a threat not only to the health of the seas and coasts, but also to the economy and our quality of life in general. Most marine litter is generated by activities carried out on land.
The eternal journey of plastics
Marine litter consists of manufactured or processed solid materials (eg plastic, glass, metal and wood), which end up in the marine environment one way or another.
About 10 million tons of waste end up in the seas and oceans of the planet every year. Plastics, and in particular plastic packaging waste such as soft drink bottles and single-use bags, are the main type of litter on beaches and the list goes on: broken fishing nets, ropes, cotton buds, cigarette butts, lighters and more.
Unlike organic materials, plastic does not “disappear” in nature. It accumulates in the environment and especially in the oceans. A single-use plastic bottle, for example, may take about 500 years to break down into tiny pieces. Read more about it in our corresponding article “How many years does it take for plastic to decompose” here.
Where does marine litter come from?
About 80% of the litter found in the marine environment comes from land-based activities. The source of marine litter is not necessarily limited to human activities along the coasts. Even if dumped on land, rivers and wind carry the waste out to sea. Fishing activities, shipping, offshore facilities such as oil wells and the sewage system contribute the rest.
Respect for the environment – Prolepsis
Although marine litter is only one of the pressures on the health of the marine environment, it is a growing concern. The accumulation and long preservation of plastics in nature further complicates the issue. Marine litter is a transboundary problem. Once they enter the sea, they no longer have an owner. This makes them difficult to manage.
The starting point for dealing with marine litter is prevention.
Coastal cleaning actions
The next step is to take action on land, before the waste reaches our seas. The EU has established policies and laws aimed at improving waste management, reducing packaging waste and increasing recycling rates, as well as improving waste water treatment and generally using resources more efficiently. There are also guidelines drawn up to help limit pollution from ships and ports.
These initiatives are a good way to raise awareness around the issue and ensure citizen participation (individual / social responsibility) in tackling the problem of marine litter.
Respect for the environment is a sign of culture!
•❥ “We can do better. We can make our life greener.”
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